Austin american statesman criminal reports austin texas

Microfilm is not the most user-friendly format to work with but at least it is easily stored and preserved and in many cases it is the only format available when brittle print originals have long since turned to dust.

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The Austin Daily Statesman provided its readers with typical coverage of politics, business, and sports in central Texas as well as national and international news and I would assume its readership was well-informed. But the s Statesman packed as much information as possible into the smallest number of column inches and its layout was an amalgamation of news, advertisements and local gossip, with no clear delineation between them, all set in a tiny font face. I have read plenty of microfilm but reading the often poorly photographed 19 th century newsprint proved to be difficult on the eyes and I doubt my now middle-aged eyes would be up to the task.

Austin Daily Statesman Microfilm. Not all of it was this bad, but this is an example of some of the worst. Most of my microfilm reading was done at the Briscoe Center for American History formerly the Barker Texas History Center because their extensive collection of Texas newspapers in one convenient location made it possible to easily compare the way the murders were reported if they were reported at all in other cities. The San Antonio Express , the major newspaper of the closest large city, often provided important coverage of the murders. Eventually I did find the beginning of the story.

Although the story of the murders did not tie up into a neat narrative package, I had an outline, a timeline and a cast of characters that I was anxious to find out more about. None of the persons directly involved in the murders were well-known, influential or historically prominent. By comparison, some of those frequently suspected and accused in the murders were sometimes infamous for their criminal records and accounts of their misdeeds were often described in very memorable and colorful language. Contemporary s biographical information and by that I mean personal detail beyond name and occupation about city officials, police officers and others who worked in an official capacity at the time was scarce excepting those most prominent.

Common sources of biographical information for ordinary citizens in the late 19 th century are census records, family papers and letters, church records, city directories, birth indexes, death indexes, all of which I used with varying degrees of success to find any personal details I could. I examined several family papers collections including the Hornsby and Von Rosenberg papers hoping to find any offhand mention of the crimes, as with the Porter letter, but unfortunately I did not find any documents or ephemera directly related to the murders in any of the family papers collections I examined.

I made frequent visits to the Texas States Library and Archives to use their extensive United States census archives now conveniently online, but when I was doing my research it was still microfilm only. The State Archives is especially popular with genealogists and it was always busy.

It was fascinating to browse through the Travis county census and come across names that were familiar from the newspaper stories; to see where they had lived and with whom; although by many were already in different locations and in different occupations. One of the most striking things I discovered was that everyone was much younger than I expected; the victims, the suspects, even the police and city officials were frequently in their 20s.

When I read the newspaper accounts I had envisioned hard, old, grizzled law men, but the relentless Justice William Von Rosenberg was only 25 years of age; ex-Texas Ranger James Lucy was 31; the undauntable Police Sergeant John Chenneville was the elder at I was also surprised to discover how communal Austin households were in the s. The census records revealed it was common for households to have extended families with several generations living together under one roof, often with servants, sometimes renting a room to a boarder as well.

The employment of domestic servants was common among Austin households and was not something that would denote their employers being wealthy or upper-class as it generally would these days. In the late 19 th century, investigations and prosecutions of serious crimes were not without flaws but they were methodical. In the servant girl murder cases there were arrests, evidence was gathered, and trials were held.

I was surprised to find that there were legal artifacts from that time period still intact including some police and court records.

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The most fascinating items I came across were the original Police Calls and Arrests ledgers from the s. These volumes are a treasure trove of demographic information with details for minor crimes such as swearing and spitting to the much more serious.


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The ledgers themselves are wonderful, physical artifacts in amazingly good condition and I remember worrying the frail, ancient woman at the Austin History Center who retrieved the volumes for me was going to be crushed by the substantial leather-bound tomes. The Police Calls ledger contains entries recorded by the police clerk at the time the crimes were reported.

Turning the pages and reading those hand-written entries describing the murders is close as one can get to those mysterious events so long ago. I was disappointed by the lack of photographic materials, but there was no mention of anything like crime scene photos having been taken at the time. One thing I hoped to find was a photograph of a bullet specifically mentioned as having been photographed in in connection to the murders. Depends on the warrant.

O'Rourke was never convicted. Plans not that different. More guns than people in the USA.

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Perry's claim needs context. Students cannot be prevented from praying. Viral but not credible. This is highly unlikely.

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There's more to consider here. Sessions put the pressure on. Crime data supports this. Posts rely on conjecture. There is simply no place for this kind of hate in Texas or anywhere else in America. Earlier this year, I joined the majority of my colleagues in the House of Representatives to condemn white nationalism and white supremacy. Just last week [Aug. Congress has a responsibility to continue finding concrete ways to ensure that we can push back against these hateful ideologies. This includes keeping guns away from people who have demonstrated they are motivated by white supremacist extremism and are more prone to commit atrocious acts of violence in the name of these hateful ideologies.

Garcia referred Hearst Newspapers to her comments during the Judiciary Committee hearing on hate crimes and white supremacy. During that hearing, she became emotional as she told the story of David Ritcheson , a Hispanic man from Houston who was brutally attacked by white supremacists in and later committed suicide. For subscribers: Video of Rep. Sylvia Garcia breaking down at committee hearing goes viral.


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But what's needed most is to end Leader McConnell's death grip on background check legislation and for Trump to end his racist, hate speech, which is inspiring violence. If we cannot disarm the hate, we should at least disarm the weapons of war. Prevention is key in addressing violence — regardless of the identity of the perpetrator or target. We will never be successful in finding a legislative solution to end evil, but we can work to ensure that our local communities possess the tools needed to identify and de-escalate those on a pathway to violence.

Can you explain the factors that would go into threat assessment in H. Would a person's inclination toward hate or previous conviction of a hate crime be included?